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2 Morning Mistakes That Can Damage Your Heart Health, According To Doctors

By Faith Geiger,


How you start your morning can make or break your whole day–and over time, your morning habits can also have a major effect on your overall health. From choosing a healthy breakfast that can nourish your body and help you lose weight to exercising to stay strong and fit, there are so many ways to make your morning routine a little healthier. However, it’s also important to kick certain habits if you want to keep your health in check. In fact, there are a few morning mistakes cardiologists say you should avoid as much as possible if you care about your heart health.

To discover some of the worst habits that could be putting you at risk of heart disease, we spoke to Dr. Nick West, a cardiologist and Chief Medical Officer & DVP of Global Medical Affairs of Abbott’s vascular business . He told us that mistakes like adding too much sugar to your coffee and getting too much or too little sleep may take a toll on your cardiovascular health. Learn more below!


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1. Too Much Sweetener In Your Coffee

Although many people enjoy a hot cup of joe each morning–whether out of ritual or because they need the caffeine–there are a few coffee habits you should be wary of if you’re concerned about your heart health. It’s important to be careful about the ingredients you’re adding to your mug; as it turns out, loading it with sugar or other sweeteners can be detrimental to your heart.

"Increased dietary sugar consumption is known to increase risk of cardiovascular disease including coronary heart disease (angina & heart attack) and cerebrovascular disease (stroke); although artificial sweeteners were developed as a healthier, lower calorie alternative to sugar, they appear to carry significant risks themselves in the development of the same conditions that are associated with high sugar intake," Dr. West warns.

Of course, it isn’t just your coffee that you should leave the sugar out of. It’s important to keep your overall sugar intake to a minimum, which also means cutting back on sugary pastries, cereal, and any other high-sugar breakfast foods.

2. Too Much Or Too Little Sleep

It isn’t just your diet that can play a role in your risk of heart disease. As it turns out, getting the right amount of sleep is also essential to your cardiovascular health. That means that both denying yourself enough hours of sleep each night or sleeping in too late could take a toll.

"Both a lack of sleep (<6 hours per night) and excess sleep (>9 hours) have been associated with increased risk in observational studies," Dr. West tells us.

A lack of sleep can lead to inflammation and hormonal and hemodynamic changes, which he says “can result in the development of obesity/adverse body mass index, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and high blood pressure, all of which increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular death.” Who knew it could do so much more damage than just some brain fog? This just goes to show hitting that sweet spot of 6-9 hours of sleep is truly crucial to your overall health.

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